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On Faces, Gazes, Votes, and Followers: Evolutionary Psychological and Social Neuroscience Approaches to Leadership

Part of the Research and Perspectives in Neurosciences book series (NEUROSCIENCE,volume 21)

Abstract

Leadership is arguably one of the most important themes in the social sciences, permeating all aspects of human social affairs, from the Euro zone crisis to the re-election of the first black president in the US. Parallel findings across the biological and social sciences suggest that there are both commonalities and differences between humans and non-humans in leadership and followership. Here I propose a new theory of leadership inspired by an evolutionary perspective and informed by recent findings in evolutionary biology, social and cognitive psychology, and social cognitive neuroscience. I will identify some of the evolved functions, developmental origins, and proximate mechanisms underlying leadership and followership in humans. In addition, I will suggest which aspects of leadership are unique and which are shared with other animals and offer new ways of studying leadership and followership employing psychological and neuroscience methods.

Keywords

  • Leadership Style
  • Group Movement
  • Ultimatum Game
  • Coordination Game
  • Dominant Individual

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Correspondence to Mark van Vugt .

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van Vugt, M. (2014). On Faces, Gazes, Votes, and Followers: Evolutionary Psychological and Social Neuroscience Approaches to Leadership. In: Decety, J., Christen, Y. (eds) New Frontiers in Social Neuroscience. Research and Perspectives in Neurosciences, vol 21. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02904-7_6

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